360 Video Marketplace up and running

As of yesterday, Microsoft finally launched the 360’s Video Marketplace in Europe and Canada, bringing us in line with American 360 users. Sort of. We still don’t have the library of TV shows that our cousins across the pond have been enjoying for months, so unless you’re a big fan of Kasabian or Enter Shikari (in which case, get out) and fancy paying to see their promos instead of watching them for free on Youtube, the only interesting change here is the ability to watch hi-def films without forking out for an HD-DVD or BluRay drive.

So, what does it cost? Well, it varies. Prices range from around 250 points (for, say, Analyze This in standard definition), to 540 (for 300 in hi-def). Not all films are available in HD, which is a shame, but the 360 does a nice job of upscaling standard-def videos anyway. Coughing up the required amount of points lets you rent the film for two weeks, which sounds pretty generous, but sadly there’s a catch – once you’ve started watching the film, you’ve got 24 hours to finish it. Want to show your mates a film that you really enjoyed? That’ll be another 540 points, sir.

Of course, if you were to plan ahead and get your friends to chip in the first time around, paying about a quid each to see a movie in hi-def isn’t so bad. But if, like us, you haven’t got any friends, then paying almost a fiver to watch a film once, at home, seems a bit steep. Mind you, the last time we walked into our local Blockbuster, it was still called Ritz and you could rent a film for three years for about 10p.

Anyway, somebody wake us up when we can watch Demolition Man in hi-def please.